Comparing ULTA Beauty Sunless Tanners

Amid wedding prep, I was on the hunt for a good sunless tan to carry me through all my summery events and photos. Although, I didn’t want to spend a fortune, so I decided to try ULTA Beauty’s brand of tanner. Compared to some of the $40-$50 brands, these products run about $15-20 each. In my search, I compared all three types : lotion, mousse, and mist. To save you the read, I ultimately preferred the spray mist best. But for details, read on.

My Tanning Routine

I think it’s firstly most important to explain my routine in applying my sunless tanner. I always start in the shower, where I thoroughly exfoliate with my favorite body scrub. I LOVE the Tree Hut scrubs. Exfoliating is an important step to applying sunless tanner because it removes all the dead skin from your body, giving the tanner fresh skin to adhere to. This gives the most even and spotless finish! Especially… ESPECIALLY if you’re reapplying over faded sunless tanner

ULTA Beauty’s Sunless Tanning Lotion

I put a lot of faith in the Sunless Tanning Lotion application for two reasons: I felt the application was easiest, and it would be more moisturizing than the other options. Sunless tanners are known to be drying to the skin and need to be balanced with moisturizer. Although the application of my ULTA Beauty Sunless Tanning Lotion was indeed easy, in which I also used a tanning mitt to keep my hands clean… I could not achieve a dark enough color, and could not avoid the inevitable dark elbows and knees. For someone looking for a gradual, subtle tan option, this could work. But not for a deep/dark effect, like I was going for.

My Tanning Mitt:

ULTA Beauty’s Sunless Tanning Mousse

I applied the ULTA Beauty Sunless Tanning Mousse with a tanning mitt, the same as my lotion, and immediately liked it better. The dark color result developed quickly, and I liked that. I could also use it multiple days in a row to become darker faster. The negatives I found were that it still left my elbows too dark and dried my skin out too much. As it began to fade, it crackles on my skin and I needed to exfoliate to get the rest off quickly.

ULTA Beauty’s Sunless Tanning Mist

I have to say, I had the lowest expectations for the ULTA Beauty Sunless Tanning Spray-on mist, and therefore tried it last. As a seasoned spray tan tech, I thought angles of application would be important and tried my best, holding the can about 10 inches from my body. But it turned out that after repeated use, it wasn’t that complicated. As long as you get it everywhere, the color was in fact the best and most even, and it did not leave me any dark elbows! So I loved that. My only disclaimer would be to wipe the floor and bottoms of your feet afterward… because after the first application, my feet were black. As it faded, it became uneven again, but I buffed it out with some body scrub and reapplied.

Overall, after trying all three of these methods, I was the most pleased with the spray. Not only was the application the easiest, but the color was the darkest and most even. In this trial, I only compared the three applications of ULTA Beauty’s sunless tanners, but in the past have tried other high end brands and didn’t feel it was significantly better than ULTA’s. If so, maybe only the tones of bronzers themselves.

Extra: ULTA Beauty’s Face Tanning Drops

I’ve been using these Face Tanning Drops for months during my entire sunless tanning journey. They are very easy and you can control the strength by how much you use. I mix about 3 drops with my moisturizer in my skincare routine both morning and nights for a sunless glow on my face. However, it does not last and is not buildable. It is more of a day-to-day tan.

Let me know if you have any questions or suggestions! Thank you for following along.

Xo, Kayla

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